Posts tagged ‘spirituality’
October 15, 2013
(the following is reposted from a submission of mine that was featured on Tiny Buddha last month, and again on Life As a Widower. It’s a true story from my childhood, though my folks would probably say I was leaning into ‘literary license’ territory. ;) That said, this is the unedited version of the tale, which includes a pictorial peek at my old stomping grounds. More importantly, I want to commemorate the completion of the outline for a long-in-development series of four children’s books, directly inspired by the events recounted below. For all of you taking part in this year’s NaNoWriMo…know that I’m there in the literary trenches with you – BB)
I’ve always been a ‘cat guy’. This was long before my Buddhist friends told me stories of how cats are true earthly masters, here on earth to show us the Way. Or, to demonstrate the meditative perfection of the feline purr. Or, how the life of a cat is seen in some traditions as reward for ‘good Karma’.
When I lived in rural Nova Scotia, the house was blessed with two cats named Midge and Mooch: tabby mixes, who would come and go as they pleased, and were kind enough…if not overly affectionate. I kept asking for a cat of my own, and my folks eventually buckled. For my seventh birthday, I received a black and white kitten with golden eyes and a salmon-pink nose. He took to me instantly. Love at first meow.
July 29, 2010
(Even though it’s been 7 years since the original Broken Saints flash series was completed – and 4 since the DVD set came out in North America – I’m still blessed to receive some incredible messages from old and new fans on a semi-regular basis. Below, you’ll find what amounts to the first ‘theologically hardcore’ analysis of BS from a…ummm…’professional’ point of view!
I was always hoping to stir up some spiritual discussion with the series, so this mail made me extremely happy. Respect and appreciation to Wes Kelley for taking the time to write…and for reminding me that it pays to put in the obligatory research hours 8) )
“I’m a young Christian pastor, age 26, in the United Methodist Church, a mainline Christian denomination in the US, analogous to the United Church of Canada up north. A friend just let me borrow the Broken Saints DVDs to watch, and I became engrossed. Broken Saints touched off with me in so many ways! At the end of it all I was just like, “Yes!” The Saints narrative touched on so many intersections, political, spiritual, technological, more, all in a sci-fi universe. It really is my cup of tea.
First though, I thought your christological portrayal of Shandala was absolutely compelling. It almost brought tears to my eyes! Shandala’s christological significance was not just a cheap-easy, one-to-one symbol, like some films do by making just anybody who makes a self-sacrifice or has a tragic death into a Christ-figure. No, you built that thing up from early on, weaving it in a nice point/counter-point kind of way with the visceral, perverted effigies of Bula the cat and Shandala’s adopted mother. The cross, the ancient instrument of torture, execution, and Roman power, you re-appropriated as the symbol of technological, military, and commercial violence. Damn! Perfect that Lear crucifies Shandala on the technological instrument. And then that same instrument of death, the technological cross, she actually uses to overthrow Lear, and send blessing to everyone in the world. That is Christus Victor like nothing I’ve ever seen. Although in my theological circles, we discuss this progression as the most sacred mystery of Jesus’s atonement, never before have I seen it presented narrativally in our times, and in the sci-fi world no less!